Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"Petraeus has a rare combination of great geopolitical skills as well as tactical and military ones," says retired General Jack Keane, a fellow architect of the surge strategy. "He is good at working with ambassadors, with the Iraqi government, and he also knows how to cope with uncertainty and failure, which is what you get in an environment like Iraq."Read the whole thing.
Lest Gen Keane seem a little biased, it should be pointed out that British commanders hold Gen Petraeus in similarly high regard.
Several Northern Ireland veterans who worked with him in Baghdad this year came away with the opinion that it is now America, not Britain, that is the world leader in counter-insurgency.
A Mighty Heart
The Lives of Others
We Own the Night
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Andrew MacCarthy minces no words in exposing the face of the real enemy in Pakistan, where the Global Jihad threatens to become a nuclear power, strangely enough, on the strength of what some of our local "jihadists" might praise as "People Power" while managing to denigrate Democracy itself.
Sino yung mga "jihadists" na tinutukoy niya dito? Abu Sayyaf? MILF? MNLF? I don't recall any of them advocating "People Power".
Oh well, it's nice knowing ya tito dean... ;)
OBAMA OVER MCCAIN?
Sen. Barack Obama's rise against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination leads some of the party's strategists to celebrate the prospect for a better match-up against Sen. John McCain as the Republican nominee.
"I'll take a 47-year-old [Obama] against a 72-year-old [McCain] any day," is the private comment of one prominent Democrat who long ago made Sen. Clinton his pick for president. Like many insiders of both parties, he considers McCain -- on the rise for the Republican nomination -- as the GOP candidate most likely to defeat Clinton.
And McCain is the most likely candidate to beat Hillary. Dat I agree too!
Mccain > Hillary > Obama > McCain
It's like Rock, Paper and Scissors!
But don't scrap the elections.
Friday, December 28, 2007
UPDATE: There will be more civil unrests in nuclear Pakistan after Bhutto's assassination. Interesting times ahead.
UPDATE: Hitch on Bhutto.
David Ignatius comments on Bhutto's murder.
Ali Eteraz on Bhutto, Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif. Read it.
UPDATE: What Musharraf should do next.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
UPDATE: Money quote:
One additional point: Petraeus's counterinsurgency stands out not just for its conceptual ambition and the skill of its execution but for its humanity. There were those who argued that the U.S. military could not succeed in counterinsurgency because Americans were not tough and bloodthirsty enough. They said that brutality was essential in subduing insurgents and our humanity would be our downfall.
They were wrong. The counterinsurgency campaign of 2007 was probably the most precise, discriminate, and humane military operation ever undertaken on such a scale.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), GMA-7 said: "ABS-CBN/DZMM reporter Junrie Hidalgo's reports is erroneous where AGB Nielsen named GMA-7 as the network that allegedly funded an operation to bribe metered homes in Bacolod City to watch GMA-7 shows and influence the ratings."
GMA-7 further asserted that an affidavit submitted by Maya Reforma of AGB Nielsen "belied such accusations against GMA-7."
"There is no evidence that shows any significant impact on NUTAM data as a result of the activities purportedly launched by GMA-7," GMA-7 quoting Reforma's affidavit.
But that's different from saying there were no manipulation done to boost the ratings. What Ms. Reforma said was that YES, THERE WERE SOME MANIPULATIONS, but that they had no significant impact on the ratings raw.
AGB Nielsen also said that based on its own exhaustive investigations, the alleged tampering was confined to certain “home panels” in Bacolod City.
But AGB Nielsen said the alleged attempts to tamper with its data had no effect on its TV survey results.
Reforma told the court that the company had “reprocessed” its data by excluding the panel homes in Bacolod, compared the new data with the original and found that the alleged tampering activities had no effect on the results.
ABS-CBN had alleged that some families that participated in the AGB surveys were contacted by a rival network through house-to-house promotional campaigns offering cash prizes and promotional items, thus, rendering AGB data unreliable.
Ms. Reforma claimed that their data is reliable and accurate, but that is being disputed by ABS-CBN. And how would they know that the tampering is not limited to the Bacolod areas? If it wasn't for the whistleblower from ABS-CBN, they would still be clueless.
Sabi rin ng GMA7 sa print ad nila sa PHILSTAR kahapon:
GMA categorically denies that the ABS-CBN informant ever worked with or for GMA.
No, I don't think the informant was an official employee of GMA7, But what if the informant worked for somebody who worked for GMA7? Then GMA7 can claim that the informant never worked for or with GMA7, no?
But don't give me this BS that there were no manipulation done to boost GMA7's ratings.
MORE: Arroyo sycophant Dan Mariano is carrying water for GMA7, attacks ABS-CBN for being a "monopoly". Non-sequitur attacks, changing the subject, all in a days work.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Reminds me of RATS ads of the RNC against the Democrats. Video here.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines on Wednesday identified GMA-7 as the television network being linked to bribery attempts to unduly influence TV ratings being harvested by the research firm in Bacolod City.
In an interview, AGB Nielsen general manager Maya Reforma said an informant revealed that it was GMA-7 that allegedly funded an operation to bribe metered homes in Bacolod City to watch GMA shows and influence the ratings.
Reforma said GMA-7 conducted promotional activities in Bacolod City to increase viewership for the network. She added that the research firm has yet to confirm if the activities influenced TV ratings in the area.
She said there was no reason for the research firm to stop the ratings surveys since the tampering could be an isolated incident.
Last week, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. sued AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines for continuing to release possibly tainted nationwide TV ratings despite information that metered households used to gauge the ratings might have been bribed.
"The Filipino people and the entire media industry deserve to know the truth. We in ABS-CBN have discovered what can only be viewed as a systematic, organized and well funded attempt to cheat in the ratings," ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III said in a statement.
Vivian Tin, ABS-CBN Research and Business Analysis chief, said ABS-CBN informed AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines last November 20 about the bribery attempts and urged the research agency "to stop the release of erroneous data, check their panel nationwide and resume release only when they can guarantee the integrity of the data."
She said the network filed a P63 million civil suit against AGB Nielsen after it continued to release the weekly TV ratings even after the informant met with AGB Nielsen officials. "They did go with the informant and he did show them the homes. According to the informant, the homes that he showed them were verified to be AGB Nielsen homes," she told reporters at 9501 restaurant.
Katulad ng sinabi ni Archbishop Arguelles, malas nyo dahil nahuli kayo!
If you are getting weird problems connecting to the web, and are using PLDT’s or Globe’s DSL service, we may have a stumbled upon a less than optimal DNS entry on our side.
Lately, we have been receiving reports from our hosted clients using PLDT and Globe internet connection that they cannot view websites. During the investigation of the problem, we initially thought that there was temporary problem with PLDT’s DNS servers. As out test below would show, some other DNS servers on the Net did not have the same problem.
Uh-huh... he added:
So we escalated the problem to PLDT’s top network honchos and asked them what they were seeing from their side. It seems that both PLDT and Globe servers could not resolve the IP address of one of the Name Servers on our side. But other name servers on the internet could.
While we were troubeshooting the problem, we advised our clients to use OPENDNS when encountering problems that are related to PLDT and Globe DNS server. Here are the instructions on how to change DNS settings to OpenDNS
After exhaustive investigation, it seems that our NS records did not have the accompanying A records. (In layman’s terms, it was not fully compatible with some of the DNS servers out there). So we corrected the problem, and with help from PLDT DNS guys,we were able to get confirmation that the DNS servers are now in sync and compatible with PLDT DNS.
Mali siya dito, I'm still not able to access some websites because of this DNS problem.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
McCain Endorsed by Over 100 Admirals and Generals
ARLINGTON, VA -- Today over 100 retired admirals and generals endorsed John McCain for President of the United States at a press conference in Columbia, South Carolina. These distinguished leaders supporting John McCain come from all branches of the armed services and include former POWs, Medal of Honor recipients and former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
John McCain was joined today in Columbia by five distinguished military veterans: Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, USN (Ret.); Vice Admiral Mike Bowman, USN (Ret.); Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, USN (Ret.); Rear Admiral Bob Shumaker, USN (Ret.); and Major General Stan Spears, USA, Adjutant General of South Carolina.
"This nation is at war and we'd better damn well understand that fact," said Admiral Leighton "Snuffy" Smith, USN (Ret.). "John McCain understands it, and he is the only candidate that has not wavered one bit in his position regarding the importance of victory in the war against Islamic extremism or in his commitment to the troops who are doing the fighting. He has consistently demonstrated the kind and style of leadership that we believe is essential in our next Commander in Chief. Our nation faces a growing array of serious foreign policy challenges. John McCain is the ONE candidate who, in our view, truly understands the strategic landscape and is fully prepared to deal decisively and effectively with those who wish to be our friends and, importantly, those who wish us harm."
John McCain thanked the admirals and generals, stating, "I am deeply honored to have the support of so many distinguished military leaders. I thank them for the trust they have in me, but more importantly, our nation is indebted to their service in defense of our freedom. Our next president will face two wars and an array of national security challenges around the world. My experience, knowledge and background have prepared me to confront these great challenges and lead as commander in chief from day one."
Friday, December 14, 2007
From the Daily Tribune:
Bribery in RP among worst in world — TI
The Philippines under the Arroyo regime has climbed high in the global corruption index.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) ranked the Philippines in the top rung of countries most affected by bribery in the world based on its Global Corruption Barometer 2007 report released yesterday.
According to the corruption watchdog, it is the police, politicians and judges who are the most corrupt.
One in every four persons has been asked to pay a bribe to the police, and political parties and parliaments or Congress, are the most tainted by corruption, a TI study showed.
The poor are targeted for bribes in both developed and developing countries.
The study “has made it clear that too often, people must part with their hard-earned money to pay for services that should be free,” said TI chairman Huguette Labelle. “And they do not see enough commitment when they look to their governments and leaders.”
The study found that among the countries with the highest level of petty bribery, with 30 percent of respondents reporting paying bribes, is the Philippines.
Mrs. Arroyo has been mired in corruption scandals that keep on coming, and where she has been seen to block all investigations into the corruption scandals, the latest of which are the China ZTE Corp. National Broadband Network project, along with the P500,000 cash bribes each given to some 190 congressmen and a big number of local executives, right in Malacañang.
The World Bank also recently suspended funding of several road projects in the country owing to the discovered “excessive” corruption and huge overpricing in bidding for the projects.
The TI survey showed the Philippines along with Albania, Cambodia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania and Senegal in the top rung of countries with the highest incidences of corruption in the world.
More from the Tribune:
Santiago’s proposal to the Pulse Asia survey was a variation of the ready response by the Palace on corruption surveys.
Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) chairman Constancia de Guzman has made a somewhat similar proposal against Transparency International (TI).
De Guzman wrote the TI last year asking the anti-corruption watchdog to strike the Philippines off its list of countries included in its annual corruption level survey after the ranking of the country progressively sunk from the time Gloria took over the presidency in 2001 through a naked power-grab.
Stated differently, what Gloria, through her lackey De Guzman, wanted was for the country under her corrupt regime out of the TI listing to ensure that the corruption level in the country will no longer be recorded, and for them, the problem of gross corruption in Gloria’s government will simply vanish.
De Guzman even went to the extent of casting aspersions on the character of the head of the local TI chapter to defend Gloria from the unfavorable surveys.
De Guzman frequently enumerates the name of low-level state workers being charged in court for graft as proof that the government has been relentless against corruption.
Yet everyone knows it is only the small fry that Gloria and her anti-graft commission charge with corruption. What is their record on the Bolante P3-billion caper, for starters? Years have passed, and promises have been made, yet there are no findings and no charges to speak of from Malacañang.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Alarmed by his wife's slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure - or coup....
Another Democrat with close connections to the Clinton campaign describes Bill Clinton as "very engaged and very agitated. He's yelling at [chief strategist] Mark Penn a lot."...
One post-Thanksgiving meeting erupted into finger-pointing over the loss of her advantage.
"They all want to kill each other," said a source aware of the closed-door meeting.
The backstabbing involves several high-level people in the campaign, including Penn, Mandy Grunwald, Ann Lewis and Howard Wolfson, sources said.
From the New York Daily News.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I disagree with the survey findings. She's probably somewhere between Marcos and Erap.
And Malacanang questions how the survey was done. Respondents were "too few" to say Arroyo is most corrupt raw.
For one thing, Bunye said, there were too few respondents.
"So 1,200 out of 84 million Filipinos? So 'yan po ay napakaliit na bahagdan ng ating mga kababayan (So that is a very small percentage of our countrymen)," Bunye told dzBB radio.
Too few? Sa US, CNN/Opinion and CBS/NYT did two recent polls that almost had the same number of respondents on the US presidential candidates:
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Huckabee Surges In Two National Polls
Clinton Up By Double-Digits Over Obama Mike Huckabee has been skyrocketing in the polls in several early states, and now it appears that his success is translating into national appeal. A pair of new national polls out this morning show him running neck-and-neck with Rudy Giuliani for the lead in the GOP primary. On the Democratic side, the polls diverge one shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama by 10 points, the other by 23 points.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll of 1002 adults, including 377 registered Republicans and 467 registered Democrats, conducted over December 6-9, shows 24% would vote for Giuliani; 22% would vote for Huckabee; 16% would vote for Mitt Romney; 13% would vote for John McCain; 10% would vote for Fred Thompson; 6% would vote for Ron Paul; 2% would vote for Duncan Hunter; and 1% would vote for Tom Tancredo. On the Democratic side, 40% would vote for Clinton; 30% would vote for Obama; 14% would vote for John Edwards; 4% would vote for Joseph Biden; 4% would vote for Bill Richardson; 2% would vote for Chris Dodd; and 2% would vote for Dennis Kucinich.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News reported, "A brand new CBS News/New York Times poll just being released at this hour shows a dramatic shift on the Republican side. Take a look. Nationwide, Rudy Giuliani still leads but by the slimmest of margins. One point. The story? Mike Huckabee's surge into second place. He's up 17 points since October."
The CBS/NYT poll of 1133 adults, including 1028 registered voters, conducted over December 5-9, shows Giuliani leading with 22%, followed by Huckabee, 21%; Romney, 16%; McCain, 7%; Thompson, 7%; Paul, 4%; Hunter, 3%; and Tancredo, 1%. Among Democrats, Clinton leads with 44%, followed by Obama, 21%; Edwards, 11%; Biden, 2%; Kucinich, 2%; Richardson, 2%; and Dodd, 1%.
Sa US, around 1,000 adults out of a population of 300,000,000 ang ginamit. I guess hindi rin scientific ang mga polls sa US.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
A new Gallup poll shows an across-the-board increase in the favorable ratings of major Republican presidential candidates – with the exception of Rudy Giuliani, who until recently had the highest favorable ratings of any Republican. According to the new rankings, John McCain now has the highest favorable rating of any candidate, with Giuliani second.
The poll shows Mike Huckabee's favorable rating jumped 15 points in the last three weeks, from 18 percent to 33 percent. (Huckabee's unfavorable rating ticked downward, from 18 percent to 16 percent.) Fred Thompson's favorable rating went up ten points, from 29 percent to 39 percent. (His unfavorable rating also went down, from 28 percent to 26 percent.) Mitt Romney's favorable rating went up eight points, from 28 percent to 36 percent, while his unfavorable rating went down a point, from 31 percent to 30 percent. And McCain's favorable rating also went up eight points from 47 percent to 55 percent, while his unfavorable fell from 34 percent to 30 percent. As for Giuliani, his favorable rating fell from 55 percent to 52 percent, with his unfavorable rating jumping from 32 percent to 37 percent.
During the same period, there was little change among Democrats, who already had higher favorable ratings than several Republicans. Hillary Clinton's favorable rating went down five points, from 52 percent to 47 percent, while her unfavorable rating went up from 45 percent to 50 percent. Barack Obama's favorable rating stayed the same, at 53 percent, while his unfavorable rating ticked upward from 30 percent to 33 percent. John Edwards' favorable rating also stayed the same, at 50 percent, while his unfavorable rating went from 31 percent to 35 percent.
Kung gagawin nating Net Approval Rating, ito ang lalabas:
John Mccain: 55 - 30 = +25
Mike Huckabee: 33 - 16 = +17
Rudy Giuliani: 52 - 37 = +15
Fred Thompson: 39 - 26 = +13
Mitt Romney: 36 - 30 = +6
Barack Obama: 53 - 33 = +20
John Edwards: 50 - 35 = +15
Hillary Clinton: 47 - 50 = -3
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
And here's what I said a few weeks ago. ;)
And he's getting some results.
UPDATE: Related stuff from MLQ3:
Maria Ressa pointed out whichever way the government slices or dices what took place at the Peninsula -a “hostage situation,” or “terrorism,” or whatever- she can find an identical scenario covered just as aggressively by media abroad, and no democratic government anywhere did to journalists what our government did here at home.
MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has called on President Arroyo to "personally and sincerely" address the issues that were raised by the group of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that took over the Manila Peninsula Hotel last Thursday.
Rosales said while he does not agree with the means used by the dissenters, it would be unwise for the administration to simply shrug off their complaints.
"The issues of justice and legitimate leadership that the protesters espouse must be heeded and addressed according to the laws of the land," Rosales said.
He said the issues raised by the so-called Pen 50 should be addressed to avoid similar incidents from occurring.
"What all long to see is a humble, honest, inspiring and compassionate leadership among public servants who are completely disposed to unity," he said.
We've all been doing that since 2005, Cardinal Rosales. Tell the whole truth about Garcigate and do the right thing: Resign. Where have you been? Oh yeah, I remember--making excuses for Arroyo.
You want Arroyo to "personally and sincerely" address the issues? What do you mean by that? You know she's incapable of addressing the main issue that has bugged her so called presidency since 2004 (and 2001)-- and that's her Garcified legitimacy. And i have no problems with your statements above--i just question it's sincerity. is all.
UPDATE: From Maceda: "Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles revealed that he was approached for support by those behind the Makati City standoff but he had refused."
Of course he will refuse. Wasn't he the same person who said dismissed the allegations of election rigging when asked about Arroyo's Garcified Elections:
“Talaga naman nandaya, e. Pero kahit nandaya, maliwanag naman na si Presidente ang nanalo. Hindi siguro one million (votes) pero siguro mga ilang hundred thousand….Lahat naman nandaya, e. Natalo lang ’yung iba sa dayaan.”More on Archbishop Ramon Arguelles from Conrado de Quiros.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Amid the public uproar over the successive hikes in the prices of petroleum products imposed by oil companies, which include that of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), Malacañang yesterday passed the buck as it laid the blame on former Navy Capt. and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, whom it accused of making life harder for the poor Filipino masses by inflicting further damage on the economy when he took over the Manila Peninsula hotel last Thursday and demanded the resignation of President Arroyo.
In a statement sent to reporters, deputy presidential spokesman Lorelie Fajardo stressed there are mitigating measures being done by the government to help poor Filipinos cope with the oil price hikes but Trillanes, along with other Arroyo critics have been impeding Mrs. Arroyo’s economic programs.
“This is the reason acts such as that of Senator Trillanes would make it harder for the poor to cope with the international oil price,” Fajardo said.
She also defended oil companies and their move to jack up oil prices, saying such is inevitable.
“The increase in the price of LPG is inevitable because of the oil price hike in the world market. The President herself went to Paco Market (in Manila ) before going to Europe, to make sure that the prices of the basic commodities are stable inspite of this,” Fajardo said.
Is he a "the Conservative Clinton"? I love to hear him speak. Nakaka-hypnotize. And Great job on losing all that weight Governor.
And look out, he has surged in Iowa to take the top spot.
UPDATE: In other US political news, Karl Rove advises Obama: Win Iowa or lose the race
If he can't win there, I doubt he can win anywhere else.
UPDATE: "NIE? What NIE?"
I like Huck, but not for president.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
As soon as Trillanes et al. signaled surrender, the police moved in to arrest everyone in sight, regardless of whether they were Magdalo soldiers or sympathizers or media people going about their business of reporting what was obviously a significant event. Then they tied up everyone with plastic tie wraps (except for a few feisty female reporters who refused to be subjected to such indignity) and herded them into buses that would later bring them to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City. Some media men who stuck their hands out of the window to show to television cameras were hit with sticks. A few said the police pointed their guns at them.
What was their crime? None, police and civilian officials declared. Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno explained that there were reports that some Magdalo members or sympathizers had disguised themselves as members of the media and the police wanted to make sure they didn’t get away. So, he said, everyone was being taken to Bicutan for “processing” so that the authorities could determine if those who claimed they were from the media were indeed what they claimed to be.
Of course, the police cannot be expected to know each and every reporter, photographer or cameraman working for scores of media organizations based in Metro Manila. But unless someone does not watch the news on TV at all, he would surely know that Ces Drilon and Pinky Webb work for ABS-CBN Broadcasting and Sandra Aguinaldo for GMA Network. Their faces are their IDs, so why did the police have to confirm their identities in Bicutan? And why was it not good enough for the police that top station officials would vouch for the identities of the people assigned to cover the event?
If all that the police wanted was to check the media people’s identity, they could have done that right at the hotel by asking for everyone’s ID and calling the newsrooms to verify. But no, the police had to humiliate the media people and force them to go through the ordeal of being handcuffed and transported to Bicutan. Only to find out that their information about infiltration was wrong, since they found not a single impostor among the media people they had brought in for questioning.
But Puno himself hinted that there was a dark reason for the arrests other than identity checks, when he accused the media people of “wittingly or unwittingly, all of them, obstructing justice.” In other words, the administration suspected the journalists who covered the event of being part of the plot to topple Ms Arroyo. In fact, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon is now threatening to charge the journalists present at the Manila Peninsula with obstruction of justice if they would file any charges against the policemen who hauled them off to Bicutan.
The media should call Razon’s bluff. Let’s see if he can find a friendly judge who will declare it a crime to cover breaking news. If the media will blink in the face of such intimidation, the Gestapos in the PNP and in Malacañang will continue to march in triumph, crushing under their heels everyone’s political rights and civil liberties.